I work at the University's Broadstairs Campus where I am Programme Director for BA (Hons) Graphic Design, BA (Hons) Web Design, and BA (Hons) Multimedia Design. I joined CCCU in 2002 after working as a Graphic Designer, and have enjoyed teaching, developing the degree programmes and conducting research and knowledge exchange projects ever since. I have a BA in Interactive Arts from Manchester Metropolitan University, an MA in Electronic Arts from Middlesex University, a PhD in digital anthropology from Brunel University and a PGCHELT from Canterbury Christ Church University. I have extensive experience in teaching digital humanities and new media theory, as well as practical digital design workshops and seminars. I have published widely on the subject of videogames, player behaviour and online communities, and regularly present on these subjects.
Research and knowledge exchange
1) Videogame cultures – especially the ethnographic study of player groups, activities and meanings. As part of my PhD I spent four years studying glitchers, modders, hackers and griefers on the Xbox 360 (Call of Duty franchise in particular).
2) Glitch aesthetics – as a keen gamer and a practising artist I’m thrilled when software stutters, fails and grind to a halt. I’ve written and exhibited artworks based upon videogame glitches and take any opportunity to get out of the map.
3) Play and misrule – play as an activity, both within videogames and beyond, and the ways that play works against existing boundaries or rules. This is a theoretical undercurrent that flows through the majority of my work, looking at the relationships between play, resistance, and control.
4) Arcade cultures and digital heritage – as a child I grew up playing in seaside arcades. I have developed a passion for arcade games and an interest in the archival and preservation of games and arcade spaces, the cultures that they supported and the stories that they hold. I discovered and preserved the only known version of a Street Fighter II ‘whack a mole’ arcade game called Ken Sei Mogura.
5) Design anthropology and design thinking – I am also interested in the role of user research within design. My PhD utilised ethnography online (netnography), and my experiences as a designer have highlighted that the most important aspect of the design process is understanding the needs of the user. As a result I am an advocate of the use of ‘contextual research’ methods to learn about users, and have worked with the largest User Experience design agency in Europe, Foolproof, developing a ‘rapid ethnography toolkit’ for commercial design research.
Teaching and subject expertise
All of my interests and research dynamics feed into my teaching, which focuses around design theory, research methods for design, play and digital humanities… and at the end of a busy week I’m always up for a round or two of Street Fighter 2 in the design studio. I’m always happy to hear from people who might want to talk about any of my interests, please feel free to contact me via email. At the moment I’m working in collaboration with the Dreamland pleasure park ( http://www.dreamland.co.uk/ ) on projects around arcade culture, and am working on a book about play and misrule.
My teaching responsibilities now generally consist of the theory strands upon Graphic Design, Web Design and the Digital Design Suite, including Contextual Theory for Designers, Dissertations, New Media Production and Consumption, alongside graphic design and professional practice modules.
I currently supervise two MA students within the School of Media, Art and Design, and have experience with the examination of CCCU PhD students.
All of my interests and research dynamics feed into my teaching, which focuses around design theory, research methods for design, play and digital humanities… and at the end of a busy week I’m always up for a round or two of Street Fighter 2 in the design studio. I’m always happy to hear from people who might want to talk about any of my interests, please feel free to contact me via email. At the moment I’m working in collaboration with the Dreamland pleasure park ( http://www.dreamland.co.uk/ ) on projects around arcade culture, and am currently working on a book about play and misrule.
I have organised and run events for including GEEK (Games Expo East Kent) 2012, and 2015 arranging the Industry Panel, and chairing the indie devs symposium. I am on the review panel for SAGE's journal of Games and Culture.
I have extensive experience as a programme director and in other organisational and administrative aspects of Higher Education. I have been a programme director since 2006, and have experience mentoring staff at CCCU and externally with more than five years experience working as Link Tutor for collaborative partner colleges. I am currently External Examiner for Bournemouth University’s Digital Media Design programme, and have supported other universities with the development of new programmes. In 2015 I was seconded as the Arts and Humanities Faculty Director of Quality, giving me experience of Quality Assurance procedures and assisting with the validation of many undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. In addition to this I am the Knowledge Exchange coordinator for the School of Media, Art and Design.
I am a member of DIGRA (the DIgital Games Research Association) and a fellow of the HEA (Higher Education Academy).
Publications and research outputs
9) Beyond the Animated Landscape: Videogame Glitches and the Sublime in Animated Landscapes October 2015: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Animated-Landscapes-History-Form-Function/dp/1628923512
8) Understanding Counterplay in Video Games August 2015: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Understanding-Counterplay-Routledge-Advances-Studies-ebook/dp/B00YY63D5U
7) Boosting, Glitching and Modding in Call of Duty. In The Dark Side of Game Play July 2015: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dark-Side-Game-Play-Controversial/dp/1138827282
6) Under the Map Feb 2014: http://www.academia.edu/6266293/Under_the_Map_Burton_Press_3
5) PhD Thesis: Playing Against the Grain: rhetorics of counterplay in console based first-person shooter videogames May 2013: http://bura.brunel.ac.uk/bitstream/2438/7463/1/FulltextThesis.pdf
4) Why We Glitch: process, meaning and pleasure in the discovery, documentation, sharing and use of videogame exploits. In The Well Played Journal: http://www.etc.cmu.edu/etcpress/content/volume-2-number-2-theories
3) Infectious Pleasures: Ethnographic perspectives on the production and use of illicit videogame modifications on the Call of Duty franchise: In Intellect's Journal of Gaming and Virtual Worlds:
2) More Bang for Your Buck - Hardware Hacking, Real Money Trade and Transgressive Play within Console Based First Person Shooters. In Guns, Grenades and Grunts: First Person Shooter Games: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Guns-Grenades-Grunts-First-Person-Approaches/dp/1441193537/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1379774551&sr=8-1&keywords=guns+and+grunts
1) Imaginary monsters: Game 3.0 and the rise of the transgressive player. In Intellect's Journal of Gaming and Virtual Worlds: http://www.intellectbooks.co.uk/journals/view-Article,id=9795/